Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Lawrence D. Cohn


The current study seeks to determine if computer-mediated and face-to-face motivational-type interviews elicit the same level of affect words and insight words in young adults who are ambivalent about their marijuana use. One-hundred and fifty young adults from a large urban university were randomly assigned to complete a brief motivational-type interview using a standard face-to-face format or instead a novel computer-mediated format. In the computer-mediated format, the interviewer and participant communicated via computer from separate rooms. A two-month follow-up survey assessed each participant's past two-month marijuana use. Pennebaker's Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program was used to determine if the face-to-face format elicits significantly more positive affect words, negative affect words, and insight words compared to the computer-mediated format. Computer-mediated motivational type interviews (CM-MTIs) elicited more negative affect and positive affect words than face-to-face motivational type interviews (FTF-MTIs), but insight related words were elicited more in the FTF-MTIs. Use of negative affect, positive affect, and insight words did not predict marijuana use at the two-month follow-up. The present findings indicate that the LIWC can be used to compare language usage in computer-mediated and face-to-face motivational type interviews. In addition, the findings also suggest that computer-mediated MTIs may be a feasible method for exploring a participant's ambivalence about their current marijuana use.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

120 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Karla Deyanira Llanes

Included in

Psychology Commons